What is the importance of Pet Dental X-rays?
If you visit our dentist quite regularly you are probably used to having x-rays of your teeth done every now and again. However, it may surprise you to find out that this type of x-ray is something that should form a part of your pet’s standard dental care too and is just as beneficial for her as it is you.
Our pets are reliant on us to assist with many aspects of their care, including looking after their teeth. While they can use abrasive chew toys and drink water to try and remove food debris and plaque from their teeth, they don’t have the ability to brush them like we do. This means that your furbaby needs you to brush her teeth as often as possible (using pet-approved toothpaste of course since human varieties are toxic to animals). Regular brushing can significantly reduce the likelihood of dental decay and periodontal disease affecting your pet. Nevertheless, our veterinary dentist will still request that your pet has regular x-rays regardless of how fastidious your brushing routine is.
Why are pet dental x-rays so important?
Believe it or not, your pet’s teeth are much larger than you expect. In fact, in many cases as much as 75% is hidden below the gums and is not visible to the naked eye. This poses a problem to our veterinary dentist. After all, how can he comprehensively assess the health of your pet’s teeth if he can’t fully see them? The answer of course lies in dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays penetrate the soft tissues of the gum and enable our veterinarian to see what is happening to your teeth below what is visible to the naked eye. This is important because not all dental problems affect the visible part of the tooth first. In many instances, it is not until the problem has worsened that symptoms indicate that there may be something wrong. This allows a problem to become drastically more advanced, and at this point it could be much harder, more painful or more expensive to treat.
By undertaking regular x-rays as part of your pet’s normal preventative care, our vet can spot any potential problems early before they cause your pet to suffer.
What information can a pet dental x-ray show?
Pet dental x-rays can provide our veterinarian with a great deal of useful information, including:
- Analysis of the condition of the tooth
- Analysis of the condition of the jaw joint
- If there are any signs of decay or damage to the area of the tooth that is below the gum line
- If there is anything to indicate that there is a serious problem such as an unusual lump or bump, discovery of a tumor or deterioration of the bone quality in the jaw
Depending on the outcome of the x-ray, our veterinarian may recommend treatment for your animal to help sustain her health for longer. If this is the case, arrange an appointment to discuss the situation in greater detail.
The information gained from a pet dental x-ray can also be stored for comparison with further x-rays at a later date. This is useful for the continued monitoring of your pet’s dental health as if there are any unfavorable patterns emerging, these can be investigated and addressed.
If you have further questions about the importance of pet dental x-rays or would like to schedule an appointment for your furbaby at our modern, comfortable offices, please contact us at your convenience.